Singapore Expats

bringing helpers with you on the move

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.
Post Reply
eveie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 6:56 pm

bringing helpers with you on the move

Post by eveie » Wed, 12 Dec 2007 9:34 pm

It seems like most of the people in Hong Kong relocating to Singapore are taking their helpers with them. I do like the fact that I would have someone I am used to and knows my kids, and she also wants to go. Then I just found out the wages for domestic helpers in Singapore are like less than half the wage I am paying her now. I am paying her almost 740 SD and she gets every Sundays off. She wants to have the same benefit as now which is understandable, but I understand there is also a monthly levy I have to pay and overall cost for me would be so much higher. Is this all worth it?
If any of you have some sugesstions for me.... as to what the norm is .... would be helpful. If anyone has experience pls. let me know.

User avatar
micknlea
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 10:26 am
Location: Singapore

Post by micknlea » Wed, 12 Dec 2007 10:29 pm

We did it, pay the same as we did there, same benefits as well. It was worth it because we trust her, and we wanted to keep her with us if she wanted to come, which she did.
Sure we pay an extra levy etc, but as far as I am concerned it was worth it.
"My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes." - Unknown

skye
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 12:04 am

Post by skye » Thu, 13 Dec 2007 11:27 am

Govt levy is about $300 per month - you don't pay other income tax for your helper. Many maids get every Sunday off, although not all and it isn't compulsory to give it - but I reckon everyone works better the other 6 days if they get a break and we like having the place to ourselves on Sundays too. Salaries range from about $350 upwards, but that basic would get you an inexperienced domestic helper straight from her home country, who may need a lot of training, not to mention being homesick. Only a few helpers will be on $700+ but lots are earning around the $500 mark if they have been here a few years. It's a bit of a lottery whether you find someone who fits well with your family, and changing unsuitable helpers is time-consuming and still with no guarantees of success. Unless money is really tight, I would stick with the reliable helper you already have since she's willing to come, and pay the same as before. Will help your family settle in here with one less change to worry about.

eveie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 6:56 pm

all good points

Post by eveie » Thu, 13 Dec 2007 6:19 pm

Yes, I do agree with the hassle of finding just the right person.
Can u tell me how long it took to have her start working once the papers were all files????
Thank you all for very helpful comments!!!! :)

cbavasi
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 8:36 am

Post by cbavasi » Thu, 13 Dec 2007 9:26 pm

Will you be going through an agency to do the paperwork or doing it yourself? I did my own paperwork when we brought our helper over from Indonesia and found the Ministry of Manpower very helpful in letting me know exactly what I needed. But there were a couple of things I had to try and work through that took a bit of effort. Does your helper speak English? Has she worked in Singapore before? If a helper has not worked in Singapore previously she will need to take a test (in english) as well as attend a safety course. I needed my helper to be exempt from the English test as she would have never passed - and this required quite a bit of paperwork and letter writing. Also, there is a time period that the helper must not be in Singapore after the approval has been issued. I can't remember it exactly (again, this is all on the MOM website) - but in order to file the paperwork for your helper you must have your work permit (or your husband) and a residence. Then you file all the paperwork and they send you an approval letter to that address - then the worker must leave and re-enter or something like that. For us, I came before my husband/child/helper so I was able to file all the paperwork and then she came after I got the letter and emailed it to my husband who took her through immigration. If you do it through an agency it'll cost you about $600+ (roughly) and they'll walk you through it. I was more worried about her going through an agency as I'd heard a couple of horror stories and didn't want her thinking she had to pay them as well or being housed somewhere when she had to leave Singapore.
My helper decided to go back to Indonesia after about 7 months... and although we were very sad (she'd been with us for 3 years) - she didn't really like Singapore and missed her friends/family (she was live-out previously)... and I completely understand. We found a lovely girl and now I'm happy b/c she's been in Singapore a long time and knows her way around...etc.
You may want to really think about the situation and if you both would be happy.
Hope this helps!

eveie
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 6:56 pm

helper

Post by eveie » Thu, 13 Dec 2007 9:58 pm

Fortunately, she has work experience in Singapore for 4 years and speaks English very well. I am thinking of doing all the paperwork myself but do you think using an agency would be a big help? So, how long wait til she finally came to work for you???

Good to hear you found another good help.

cbavasi
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 846
Joined: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 8:36 am

Post by cbavasi » Fri, 14 Dec 2007 7:06 am

you are miles ahead then! no, DEFINITELY save the money and file the paperwork on your own. you can do this electronically and then i think the approval is within 24hrs or something quite fast. even by snail mail it's still only about a week. if she's worked in singapore before then she'll already be in the system. you'll have to take a safetly awareness course online as first time employer - http://cec.sp.edu.sg/webapps/login/
once you get the approval letter she'll have a time limit to have a medical checkup and get her WP issued. again, MOM (ministry of manpower) can give you all the info you need. i would say from start of application it's about a week (provided you have all the correct information) - and faster if it's online. and then she can work immediately and then has until her social visit runs out (2 weeks) to complete all her requirements (medical, going to have her permit issued...etc).

User avatar
micknlea
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 10:26 am
Location: Singapore

Post by micknlea » Fri, 14 Dec 2007 10:32 pm

Ours was all done within two weeks including medicals etc.
We used an agent as well, but only because this guy was provided though our company and we couldn't back out. It was easy and he didn't charge that much, not much more than the paperwork cost to do anyway.

One thing was that she had to go home to the Philipines first before starting here. She couldn't come direct from Hong Kong to start work. This was something to do with MOM. Even if she came on a visitors pass she had to go back home and then return here to work, we just worked it in with her holidays etc anyway.

By the way, the first time employer course is a hoot, you will have to do it as a first time employer here in Singapore.
"My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes." - Unknown

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests